A vehicle traveling on Old McGinley Drive Tuesday afternoon caught fire and was quickly engulfed in flames, but the driver was able to escape without injury.
Authorities were dispatched to the scene at around 2:17 p.m. Old McGinley Drive resident Brenda Leigh said she was alerted to the blaze by something that sounded like gunshots.
“Just started hearing the ‘bang, bang’ explosion type sounds,” Leigh said.
She then saw a vehicle on fire in the road next to a neighbor’s driveway. It was engulfed in flames, which were spreading to two nearby trees, she said. She also noticed the driver-side door appeared to be open. That was cause for alarm, she said.
“It scared me to death when I seen that car door open,” Leigh said. “I thought, ‘Oh Lord, is there someone still in there trying to get out?’”
Her husband called 911, and that’s when they learned authorities were well on their way and the driver had made it out safely, she said.
The Blount County Fire Department sent one truck and two firefighters. They arrived at 2:27 p.m. and had the fire under control 10 minutes later, said Blount County Fire Department Capt. Johnny Leatherwood. In addition to spreading to the nearby trees, the fire spread into the grass on both sides of the road, Leatherwood said.
“It got into the grass; burnt the grass some on both sides of the road,” Leatherwood said.
The make and model of the four-door sedan was not immediately known. The vehicle was destroyed in the fire. The Blount County Sheriff’s Office will be investigating the cause and origin of the fire. No injuries were reported.